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Jan 14 2012

Her prospects for a future in art journalism may have just dimmed

Here is an exercise in pain: read this review of a concert performance:

As the concert progressed, I began to realize a certain "prettiness" in the performance, a lack of force, drive and even drama. I don’t think this is simply a cultural phenomenon (as in misunderstanding the Messiah’s content, message, meaning, etc…). I think it is a physio/cerebral problem. I’ve seen it happen in art and design, and even in science – a friend of mine was a Korean PhD student. At some level, I think Asians demonstrate some ability (i.e. memorization, or fast, scale-like exercises). But there seems to be an inability to create a synthesized beauty, which is what much of art (and order in Science) is about.

She didn’t care for the performance, so she leapt to the assumption that it was a “physio/cerebral problem” in all those Asians.

And she’s not done! She tallies up the precise numbers of Asians in various orchestra positions, and notes that there sure are a lot of them. It couldn’t be that they earned those positions by hard work, could it?

Not only are Asians dispersed around the orchestra, they are also given lead positions in certain sections. But they are notably absent in the brass and percussion sections. Although that could just be a matter of time, these instruments (brass and percussion) might actually be too physically demanding for them.

Because Asians are all little tiny people, I guess.

The author got a lot of pushback on her post, and wrote a response. Here, cringe some more.

Putting a majority (or a large number) of Asians in a western orchestra will invariably make it more Asian. Musicians like Mary Lee, who allow this to happen, have at some point to concede the inferiority of this type orchestra compared to that with a majority of whites, and either close off their eyes to this reality (as does Mary Lee), or perform grudgingly until better situations hopefully present themselves.

247 comments

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  1. 1
    Chuck

    You missed this part: So this is what multiculturalism is bringing us. I think it is a mixture of aggressive Asians pushing their way in everywhere, and a liberal white public that wants these multi-culti influences to dominate in its cities and institutions.

    Ooh, those Asians are so pushy!

  2. 2
    Chuck

    a friend of mine was a Korean PhD student

    But some of her best friends are Asian!

  3. 3
    Glen Davidson

    No synthesized beauty in Asian art, you know.

    Makes sense, I mean, if you’ve never encountered any Asian art.

    Glen Davidson

  4. 4
    ibyea

    That response of hers makes no sense. How can having Asians in the orchestra make the music more Asian when the music was already composed beforehand? She should blame the composer if that’s the case.

  5. 5
    Eurasian magpie

    And there was I thinking nothing could suprise me anymore. Not comparable to child raping of course, but this is a kind of bigotry I haven’t encountered before.

  6. 6
    Pteryxx

    …the INFERIORITY of an orchestra that isn’t MAJORITY-WHITE? How are the extra words in that phrase anything more than tissue-thin sheets of plausibility betwixt the prongs of the obvious inference?

    They can be good at memory tricks, but their little Asian-brains just aren’t cut out for the creation of synthesized beauty indeed. That’s a big frickin’ surprise to THIS anime fan.

  7. 7
    ladydreamgirl

    Does she even realize that standard audition procedure for orchestras is BLINDED, as in the people deciding who gets to be in the orchestra pick on the best SOUNDING players?

  8. 8
    Pteryxx

    How can having Asians in the orchestra make the music more Asian when the music was already composed beforehand?

    The Asian-ness leaches into the past and informs the composer’s vision. Sort of like time-based homeopathy.

  9. 9
    ibyea

    Anyways, I feel so powerful. Man, my mere presence can ruin music. I should go to every concert she goes to troll her.

  10. 10
    komponist

    Strange for a native of Ethiopia to be complaining that too many orchestra members are non-white, doncha think?

    As a white American-born musician who has an enormous amount of respect for a great many non-white classical musicians, Asian and otherwise, I think this woman is full of shit!

  11. 11
    Zeppelin

    There’s actually an interesting reason why there are a lot of Asian star musicians!
    Southeast Asian languages tend to be tonal, and native speakers of tonal languages are much more likely to have perfect sense of pitch:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041114235846.htm

  12. 12
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    If you look at more of her posts, you’ll find her complaining about multiculturalism a lot.

    She also seems to be a devout Christian. I’m just saying.

  13. 13
    Nick Gotts

    Truly amazing, finding the 19th century racist stereotype of “Asians” (though the term at the time would have been “Mongoloids” I think) as good at rote learning but incapable of creativity, alive and well.

  14. 14
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Putting a majority (or a large number) of Asians in a western orchestra will invariably make it more Asian.

    *lolsob!*

  15. 15
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Although that could just be a matter of time, these instruments (brass and percussion) might actually be too physically demanding for them.

    Am I to assume that she doesn’t realize that there are, you know, Asian athletes?

  16. 16
    ikesolem

    “Mein Fuhrer! I must report on the degeneration of Western culture due to the influence of inferior races, as exemplified by the rising tide of Asian Yo-Yo-Ma impersonators! We must, my Fuhrer, take actions to eliminate this threat to the body politic, for the sake of future generations! I urge you to reopen the camps! Heil!”

  17. 17
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    … and she’s black… that makes this all the more confusing.

  18. 18
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @my 17:

    And you see why I don’t like to post without thinking about it first *sigh*

    and she’s African… not black. Damn you.

  19. 19
    Retired Prodigy Bill

    I don’t want to click through to find out this is real. I want to assume that this is some sort of failed satire on the part of someone somewhere. I am a firm believer in reality based thinking, but I just really, really don’t want to go to this place today.

  20. 20
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Would it be terrible of me to comment on the other nonsense on her blog? Because I saw her mentioning that Armageddon was coming in one post. She is a religious nut afraid of all those foreign non-Christian people. It seems that she finds Chinese people especially scary.

    I am now sucked into the surreal world of terrible multiculturalism that is starting to destroy Toronto and I can’t stop reading her stupid shit!

  21. 21
    loreo

    “Although that could just be a matter of time, these instruments (brass and percussion) might actually be too physically demanding for them.”

    That would be stupid even without examples like taiko drumming, an extraordinarily physical style of percussive music which was developed in Japan.

  22. 22
    komponist

    @20:

    Oh, I don’t know; it took me hardly any time at all to stop reading her stupid shit.

  23. 23
    opposablethumbs

    Unbefuckinglievable. I cannot get my head round the idea that a) someone actually thought this, and b) they thought they could write it with no consequences.

  24. 24
    'Tis Himself

    I was impressed by her article. She didn’t use the term “yellow peril” once when describing the asianification of symphony orchestras.

  25. 25
    IncredulousMark

    What an awful woman. Weirdly, she doesn’t exactly look totally “white” in her picture. Odd that a white supremacist would be so swarthy.

  26. 26
    feralboy12

    Well, the percussion section needs to be reserved for a race with natural rhythm. As for the brass section, those types of instruments can be problematic for Asians, as the rice tends to get stuck in the keys.(/snark)

    Having spent four years in music school in the Pacific northwest, I did notice a higher proportion of Asian students and people of Asian descent in the orchestra than the general population–Briefly. Then I forgot about it and went about my own damn business. And Mozart still sounded like Mozart whoever played it.
    Which, depending on how you feel about Mozart, isn’t necessarily a good thing.
    It’s music, dear. You’re supposed to use your freaking ears.
    Killed By Fish

  27. 27
    Alex

    Impressive, this reads almost exactly like the stuff that was written about the alleged influence of Jews on German culture and music in the 19th and beginning 20th century.

  28. 28
    Alex

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Das_Judenthum_in_der_Musik

    Wagner had nevertheless several Jewish friends. The question that remains however, did he let them use his privy.

  29. 29
    tariqata

    I do not understand how someone can argue, in the space of a single paragraph, that the critics of her argument that people of Asian descent, as a group, are incapable of playing European classical music with the necessary artistry, are all white people who are assuming that people of African descent are collectively unable to understand or appreciate that style of music.

    One does encounter anti-multiculturalism from unexpected sources in Toronto though.

  30. 30
    Alukonis, metal ninja

    Totally gross. I’m going to go watch some kung fu movies to cleanse my mind of this bile.

    I have Asian friends, too, and I sure hope no one says anything like this to any of them, ever. What a horrible person.

  31. 31
    Doc Bill

    There is a much more straightforward explanation for why orchestra tends to be dominated by students of Asian ethnicity and band by “the rest.”

    It has to do with the Suzuki program which emphases string and piano. At least in my area of Houston, the Suzuki programs are dominated by Asian families and kids start learning music as early as kindergarden. By the time these kids are in middle school they are already accomplished musicians and often play several stringed instruments and the piano.

    Kids who are not enrolled in Suzuki are introduced to their first musical instruments between the 4th and 7th grade in public school music class which is most often “band.” Thus, these kids start with percussion, wind and brass instruments. Only a fraction of these students will pursue their musical education, however.

    Ultimately, they all meet up in high school where marching band dominates that part of the music program and in the football off-season band members join in with orchestra.

    It has nothing at all with who is better suited to what, rather it’s all about how kids got started and how early in music. My daughter took up strings in the 4th grade and had a successful and enjoyable time in high school orchestra.

  32. 32
    'Tis Himself

    Tyrant of Skepsis #27 & 28

    During the Nazi period in Germany, Felix Mendelssohn’s music was forbidden to be played.

    Symphony No. 4 in A Major (Italian), 1st movement Allegro vivace. János Sándor conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra

  33. 33
    ljbriar

    Her follow-up hurts my head even more than the original post.

    “I really didn’t expect any response to my “Asians Playing Western Music” blog post. Partly because I didn’t think my subjects of focus, Asians, read this blog, or paid any attention to it if they somehow got directed here.”

    Damn those Asians, they’ve even infiltrated the readerships of publicly available arts blogs!

    It’s not racism as long as you don’t get caught, I guess.

    “I know what I’m writing sounds hypocritical since I’m deriding Asians despite my similar technical background, but at least I realize that these issues exist, and I’m not afraid to confront them. Perhaps that makes me a better critique.”

    What issues? That big bad Asians are forceably shaking down white musicians for their violins and bows?

    I’m honestly at a loss, so now, hilariously, I will go back to frantically rehearsing piano music for a play, wishing with all my heart I hadn’t quit lessons as a child and had any technical ability at all.

  34. 34
    abc abc

    As a musician in Japan who hangs out with plenty of excellent classical musicians, I couldn’t let this go. Ignoring the ridiculous idea of “asian” players not sounding as good, there is a very simple reason why there are apparently so many “asians” in orchestras (by which I presume she means Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean and Japanese, not Kazakh).

    Simply put, these places have dense populations and a (presumably quite recent and accidental) cultural propensity for learning violin or piano. Both are fashionable and taught to a good standard. Result: lots of potential young classical musicians. The cultural preference to piano and violin may also explain the “lack” of “asians” (that word again) in the Brass section.

    As for the observation about perfect pitch: this is true of Mandarin, but not other “asian” languages such as Japanese or Korean. AFAIK most people who learn instruments from a young age develop perfect pitch or extremely good “relative pitch” regardless of the language they speak.

  35. 35
    Grumps

    @ Katherine #s 17 and 18

    I know this is anecdotal and opinion only but I live in a pretty multi-cultural community. I love it. Mostly people are nice, friendly and accepting of difference. But I have met lots of racists. They are spread pretty evenly between the different communities here (white, sub-continent asian and black mostly). It seems to me that a racist mindset can exist in anyone. And it doesn’t appear that being a member of a minority that suffers racism both from individuals and institutionally makes it less likely that you’ll be racist yourself. Indeed it could be argued that it makes it more likely.

    Racism needs to be combated wherever it is found and whoever is expressing it. Colour and race of the racist is irrelevant. They need to be confronted and educated.

    I understand that the majority community (white here) has a particular responsibility to “do the right thing”, but I would not be at all surprised to find a black person being racist about Asians.

  36. 36
    Pteryxx

    Odd that a white supremacist would be so swarthy.

    and others.

    Can we just agree that bigotry and hypocrisy occur in people of every gender, race, orientation, ability and class?

    …Which is ironic, I suppose. *headdesk*

  37. 37
    David Hart

    Ladydreamgirl: “Does she even realize that standard audition procedure for orchestras is BLINDED, as in the people deciding who gets to be in the orchestra pick on the best SOUNDING players?”

    My thoughts exactly – if I remember rightly, this is exactly why orchestras now, after centuries of being men-only (or men only apart from the harp) are thoroughly mixed-sex; it wasn’t that there was a spate of conductors with a positive discrimination policy, rather there was a realisation that, when faced with complaints that their hiring policies were sexists, the obvious response was an audition programme that made accusations of sexism impossible by using a curtain, thus denying the person making the choices any knowledge of whether the auditionee was a man or a woman until after they had made their choices. If an influx of ‘synthesised beauty’ is altering the quality of the orchestras, then presuming that the auditioners still use a blind selection process, they must be selecting for it.

  38. 38
    Grumps

    @Pteryxx #36

    Shorter me. And better put. Yes.

  39. 39
    anubisprime

    @ 12 Beatrice, anormalement indécente

    “She also seems to be a devout Christian.”

    Say no more…funny how it all makes sense now!…fucking sad indictment of their style is it not?

  40. 40
    Emrysmyrddin

    *jawdrop*

  41. 41
    SallyStrange

    Yes, it’s true: people of color are capable of expressing racial prejudice! *shockhorror*

    Next thing you know, people will be claiming that women sometimes enforce patriarchal values! *coughphyllisschlaflycough* Pandemonium! Chaos! Our carefully ordered world is falling into pieces!

  42. 42
    Emrysmyrddin

    From her second post:

    So, they are of course, in their own subtle, race-bound ways, saying that I as a non-white person, whose ethnic and cultural group does not figure in white classical music repertoire, have no say in classical music, since I am “essentially” unable to make such critiques. But, they’re going to say it in a nice, non-threatening way, because, well, I have to be taught the right way to communicate, by example, of course. Irrelevant of my own personal knowledge and background, they have put me squarely in my box.

    So…much…obliviousness… *pain*

  43. 43
    Moggie

    It looks like the blog is a rich mine of stupid. I was particularly impressed by this:

    http://cameraluc.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-liberals-start-young.html

    A toddler lives across the street, and is rather noisy at play, which annoys her. This means that this child has a rather apocalyptic future:

    I’ve compared him to the Norwegian murderer, the blond and blue-eyed Anders Breivik, who it appears now is a product of a dysfunctional family (of course, much more so than this boy, but it is all in degrees). I’m not saying this kid will grow up to be a murder, but I’m pretty sure he’ll grow up to be a liberal, and a Canadian one at that. And probably one of those elite liberals who run to their luxurious hills, and let the battles rage in the fields below to get their liberal ideologies in place (not for them, of course, but for everyone else). I’ve said before that we need to prepare ourselves for the Götterdämmerung, the destruction, that liberals are working towards (whether they do it consciously or as a result of their ideology) in order to build their utopia. I wrote: “Our task is to prevent this destruction of our world.”

    She’s warned the father about letting the boy play outside where foreigners are around, but, amazingly, the boy’s parents not only ignored her warning, they let him associate with their Chinese neighbour!

    http://cameraluc.blogspot.com/2011/07/young-beautiful-white-boy-tall-handsome.html

    She can’t understand why the parents allow this. Aren’t they aware of the yellow peril? They must be liberals, and something ought to be done. Truly, these are the end times.

  44. 44
    peterh

    Whenever one gets to taking a critic too seriously, one should read Postmodern Pooh by Frederick Crews, ISBN 0-86547-626-8.

  45. 45
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ Katherine #17, #18:

    From what I found on the web, Ms Kidist Paulos Asrat, the author of that blog, was educated in Canada but born in Ethiopia, from the Amhara people, who as I understand are of mixed African and Western Asiatic origins. So she’s definitely not “White”, as it’s defined in American culture. But (surprise, surprise!) she’s a self-defined conservative and adversary of “multi-culturalism”.

    By the way, apart from the horror of Asians playing in Western music orchestras (!), she’s also written some pretty questionable things about American Indians who want to retain their heritage while living in the modern world; labelled Spike Lee a “liberal fascist elitist race-baiter”; sounded the alarm about the “emergency” of non-Western immigrants “inundating us” and “allowing their women to marry White men” (the horror! the horror!) and complained that magazines won’t accept her cultural articles if she mixes her politics in them! Oh, what a dreadful censorship!

    But there’s one thing PZ’s article doesn’t have right: although she writes a lot for magazines and blogs, she’s not a journalist but an artist and designer. Hey, I have a suggestion: that in the future, she focuses on her artistic career instead of trying to inflict her political prejudices on the world. That way maybe she could do some good.

  46. 46
    Pteryxx

    So, they are of course, in their own subtle, race-bound ways, saying that I as a non-white person…

    “Everyone’s prone to bias” =/= “NO U”

    *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

  47. 47
    Emrysmyrddin

    There is a “women’s” shelter down the street, which is a place where women “abused” by their husbands can go.

    What what what

  48. 48
    greensageb

    Her website is supposedly meant to be “A place to explore and shed light on how art, culture and society converge”. It certainly is. In the post and follow-up response, we get to see how bigotry and ignorance can insinuate itself into a collaborative, unifying activity like music.

    The post was especially painful because as a younger man I was a musical standout who played several brass instruments–and I just happen to be Asian. Really, really disheartening.

  49. 49
    Emrysmyrddin

    I notice now that the little boy is playing less frequently outside, and there is always someone with him. Most of the time, though, it is the Chinese woman from upstairs. I don’t understand this. This goes back to my original concern (observation) that this family doesn’t really seem to be thinking about the boy, but about their “needs”: to have a nice house, to have a ready baby sitter (I’m not sure if they pay the Chinese woman, but they must since she’s almost always with him now)…I am getting more and more suspicious of the “Asian” immigrants these days. Why is she spending all this time with the boy? Even the financial pay-off cannot be that much. I know that Asians are always trying to know and learn as much about Canadian life and culture as they can (I used to teach ESL – English as a Second Language – exclusively to Chinese), and that their un-voiced goal is to find ways to compete against Canadians – whites – in jobs, homes, school admittance (they would literally memorize SAT and GRE handbooks) etc. And the women, I am sorry to say, are getting adept at catching the wayward white male, and there are many of them these days, and I’m sure these women study them (perhaps their mothers also coach them) and their behaviors, to make this easier (slam dunk, more like).

    This person is weapons-grade stupid. This is like finding a goldmine, if you read ‘gold’ as ‘shit’. I’m oddly fascinated; everywhere I look there is more and more of her Manifesto of What I Did On My Suspicious, Paranoia-Filled Day Out, or, My Ethnic Neighbours Look At Me Funny. I actually can’t look away. Halp.

  50. 50
    ladydreamgirl

    The other possible hypothesis explaining why she is hearing this “synthesized beauty” is that it’s a psychological reaction on her part, she sees that the orchestra has a large number of Asian members and so she hears it how she expects such players to sound.

  51. 51
    Pteryxx

    and that their un-voiced goal is to find ways to compete against Canadians – whites – in jobs, homes, school admittance…

    Oh FFS Canadians =/= whites! (linky) Do we have a Crommunist-batsignal yet?

  52. 52
    Emrysmyrddin

    Seriously what

  53. 53
    Emrysmyrddin

    What’s the Conservative version of ‘crank magnetism’? Or am I attempting to construct a tautology?

  54. 54
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ Pteryxx 46:

    Well, of course, her critics must be some sort of racists to question her, since she’s a POC, don’tcherknow. But when she says stupid stuff about Asians, it’s not racist, oh no, it’s because she cares about Culture!

    /snark

  55. 55
    jessie

    What the hell did I just read?

    I can’t say I’m surprised she links to a bunch of ultra right-wing sites and is a Christian.

  56. 56
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    While we’re at it, the armageddon thing:

    As with the “Wish Tree” which resplendently sits in the Eaton Centre, Christian symbols are around, but they are not used in their true sense.

    I think it a sign, which we have to pay attention to. Idolatry is an integral part of our culture now.

    We have to stay strong, and faithful. I think the Armageddon is not far ahead.

    ( source)

  57. 57
    jessie

    Gah, look at this post:

    http://cameraluc.blogspot.com/2011/10/sacred-days-for-sacred-celebrations.html

    Having a secular wedding ceremony is apparently evil.

    (I should also point out that Thanksgiving is not really treated as a big deal in Canada).

    She says here that Chinese people,”can’t quite come up to par with the western world…”

    http://cameraluc.blogspot.com/2011/08/cosmopolitan-justice-and-global.html

    What a racist mentalcase.

  58. 58
    epikt

    ladydreamgirl says:

    Does she even realize that standard audition procedure for orchestras is BLINDED, as in the people deciding who gets to be in the orchestra pick on the best SOUNDING players?

    You’d think that the evil “Asianness” would make itself evident even during blind auditions, and right-thinking orchestras could easily avoid the Yellow Peril.

    Seriously, this is just stupid. A major part of orchestral playing is interpretation–knowing appropriate performance practices that may be hundreds old years old, e.g. you don’t play Bruckner the same way you play Mozart. Even in western culture, that’s not something you acquire by osmosis; it takes scholarship and listening. And that means it’s accessible to anybody (with musical talent) who’s interested. Even Asians.

  59. 59
    Emrysmyrddin

    I can hear Ricky Gervais in the back of my head screaming: “AMAZING!” I’m experiencing the same level of incredulous hysteria-tinged amazement each time I get to a different article.
    She hates feminists and working wives, who cause husbands to drink and gamble; Chinese people, atheists, Muslims , Ethiopians…it just goes on and on. That’s just in the last few weeks
    “And” she’s “frankly” abusive “towards” scare “quotes”. “Someone” should take “away” her 2 “key”…

  60. 60
    ricardodivali having sniffles over stiffles

    I’ve compared him to the Norwegian murderer, the blond and blue-eyed Anders Breivik

    It’s not the little boy who’s currently resembling Breivik here. This is actually quite disturbing, her fixation on this child and her ramblings.

  61. 61
    johnmarley

    Although that could just be a matter of time, these instruments (brass and percussion) might actually be too physically demanding for them.

    She’s clearly talking out of her ass.

  62. 62
    jessie

    It’s funny she’s so obsessed with “evil.” (i.e. http://cameraluc.blogspot.com/2011/12/calling-out-evil.html )

    If declaring a certain racial group as inferior isn’t evil, what is? How much human suffering has been caused by one group believing itself superior and dominant to another?

    Okay, I’m going to stop looking at this blog before I end up with brain damage.

  63. 63
    stonyground

    At a tangent to, rather than off topic. I am a long term fan of the Prog Rock trio Emerson Lake and Palmer. Having resigned myself to the fact that I would never get to see them perform live, it occured to me to do an internet search for ELP tribute bands. As a result I discovered the UK ELP tribute band Noddy’s Puncture and have now seen them twice. I also came across video clips of a Japanese ELP tribute band who were most impressive.

    Racism is stupid, this writer demonstrates just how stupid it is.

  64. 64
    Khantron, the alien that only loves

    I knew that the modern conservative movement in the United States is based in the anti-civil rights movement, but in Canada where does this come from?

  65. 65
    Emrysmyrddin

    This is disturbing. She seems weirdly obsessed with Chinese people to the point of stalking ballet dancers.

    Currently, the ballet has a foreigner as a principal dancer, but this happens to be a Chinese-trained female dancer. I doubt that any American ballet company would want her. Imagine watching Swan Lake performed by a Chinese dancer? How are these young NBS dancers, guarded so strongly by these women as though they have brittle bones that could break at a glance, supposed to reconcile the story of Swan Lake with a Chinese face?

  66. 66
    Ingdigo Jump

    Imagine watching Swan Lake performed by a Chinese dancer?

    ……Ok back now, what’d I miss?

    I notice now that the little boy is playing less frequently outside, and there is always someone with him.

    Taking a wild guess that it’s because the creepy neighbor lady keeps watching him whenever he leaves his house.

  67. 67
    swabby

    While there’s no denying that she’s horrid, this kind of shit is not uncommon in classical music. The ridiculous Vienna Philharmonic comes to mind:

    “. . .the Philharmonic’s only non-white musician, tuba player Yasuto Sugiyama, was fired before he completed his trial year in 2003. Dr Clemens Hellsberg, VPO chairman, says that although he didn’t fit, Sugiyama is ‘maybe one of the best tuba players in the world’. He says that ‘even sitting in the audience, I could hear how differently he played compared to the rest of the orchestra’.

    Which is why I’m not in classical music any more (besides the whole sexism part).

  68. 68
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Emrysmyrddin,

    A fascinating specimen, isn’t she? Yes, immigrants are all terrible, terrible people. One of them stole her job!!!11!eleven! (link)
    And the youth today! You don’t know who’s a man, who’s a woman and who is gay (or a homosexual, as she puts it). Immature, all of them, not taking their proper roles as men and women.
    Also, Muslims are destroying Europe.

  69. 69
    Emrysmyrddin

    Don’t be drinkin’ anything when you read this one.

    I’m going to quietly close my browser and have a very large whisky. Beatrice, my dear, that blog: it just does not end. And so I must, before I do. What a specimen.

  70. 70
    Emrysmyrddin

    * this one, rather. Sorry.

  71. 71
    Midnight Rambler

    Grumps @35:

    I live in a pretty multi-cultural community. I love it. Mostly people are nice, friendly and accepting of difference. But I have met lots of racists….It seems to me that a racist mindset can exist in anyone. And it doesn’t appear that being a member of a minority that suffers racism both from individuals and institutionally makes it less likely that you’ll be racist yourself. Indeed it could be argued that it makes it more likely.

    I know what you mean. I live in Hawaii, where no group is in the majority and there is an extremely high rate of intermarriage (mixed people, if you include Filipino-Hawaiian-Japanese, are probably the largest group). And the situation is similar to what you describe – for the most part people get along well, but at the same time there is a pervasive feeling of being on the defensive, where personal conflicts with people of other groups become group issues. Likewise, lot of people are fine with most every individual they interact with of any group, yet still harbor resentments or stereotypes about their groups (sometimes including ones in their own ancestry!).

  72. 72
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Just repeat the last link before you close your browser, it didn’t catch.

    I-can’t-stop! This is madness.

  73. 73
    Moggie

    Can’t… stop… reading…

    Evidence of how sinister those non-westerners are:

    Here are a couple of incidents that triggered this post. I try to listen to people’s accents, as is my habit these days, especially if they are non-white and speaking in English. Yesterday, while walking downtown, I was behind a couple (a male and a female), which from the back I assumed were both Asian. The woman, at first, sounded Chinese while the man had a distinct Canadian accent. I thought this was another, common, manifestation of the Asian presence here, where one of the couple is a Canadian-born Asian while the other is a Chinese or Korean immigrant. But I later deciphered an Iranian accent in the woman’s speech, especially when I saw her middle-eastern looks. They were talking about management styles, and here is a fragment of what I heard the man say:

    “The problem is, as a manager in the Western world….”

    Dun dun DUNNN!

    Now, this unfinished sentence may not be enough to make any conclusions, but what true Westerner, living in Canada, would start a sentence like that? The expected introduction to a problem on management styles would be: “The problem with management is,” or “Our problem with management is,” etc. What this Asian was emphasizing was not problems with management, but problems with management in the Western world.

    Maybe he was going to say “the problem is, as a manager in the Western world, half the westerners who work for me resent me”.

    If this kind of conversation goes on in public, on the street, what kinds of things are being said behind closed doors? And imagine if the couple were not the multicultural hybrid that Toronto is sprouting these days, but a “real” Asian couple? Or even consisting of a weak-willed, West-hating white who clearly finds his assimilated-but-Asian partner (often,as I’ve said, it is a white male with an Asian female) so superior to others?

    Or imagine if the couple were soulless, dead-eyed terminator androids! You known that Honda must be working on those!

    I turned my head around (and slowed down) to listen more to this conversation. What is this management style that they’re critiquing? Do they have any solutions? The man started to muffle his voice, and eventually stopped talking. I wonder if he realized that this alienating conversation is subversive?

    Yes, that’ll be it! It can’t have been because he thought “why is this creepy woman obviously listening to our private conversation?”

    The second episode occurred when I heard a jazz melody being played on a soprano saxophone nearby at a department store. I walked towards the player sitting outside the store. The player was a poker-faced Chinese who kept playing the same tune over and over. I realized I’d seen him before doing the same with another popular jazz tune. He was in some kind of trance, just sitting there with his instrument, repeating endlessly the same, short, tune. The melody, and its simplicity, never changed. It was beguiling at first, but then I kept waiting for more – complexity, transitions, rhythmic changes. After about a minute, it just got boring. There was a woman with an expensive camera, crouched down taking photos of this man. I’m often curious what (exactly what) people are photographing, especially if it isn’t some group “tourist” photo, so I often stop and watch and eventually ask. Many people are obliging, especially if they are photographers. I am too, if someone stops and asks me. The woman glanced back at me with a hostile look. That is when I realized she was Chinese. This dismissive, negative, attitude is often of an “artist” who lacks confidence (which often translates to lack of talent). So I began to wonder if the point of her photograph is to showcase the “Chinese in Toronto” or some such “ethnic” photo project that is popular in exhibitions around the city. They (the “saxophonist” and the “photographer”) are well suited to each other, I thought.

    Jesus. Buskers often suck. People taking photographs sometimes aren’t happy about being stared at. It’s an unexceptional urban scene, but to this nutjob it’s worthy of a post entitled “proof positive”, about how Asians are “not allies of the West”.

  74. 74
    Emrysmyrddin

    Argh, I give up. She’s burned out the linking function in my brain; recently learned, it’s vulnerable to mental exhaustion.
    Here: http://cameraluc.blogspot.com/2011/09/lesbians-and-other-sexual-freaks-on.html and I’m done. Ugh.

  75. 75
    andrewriding

    Well if it eases anyone’s conscience we Asian Americans lob racist comments back and forth at each other at a pace that would be overwhelmingly oppressive if we didn’t know it was coming from a place that recognized it was all bullshit.

    I used to hang out with a Korean guy that I think we pestered more than usual because he was willing to cave to pressure to conform with the stereotypes- it was like listening to the girl that is constantly complaining about being mistreated by her boyfriend but constantly goes back to him. We didn’t want to let him just vent the frustrations and then step back in line to gradually perpetuate his woes.

    It’s taken a lot to get us to wake up to the fact that if we don’t rock the boat a little bit we’ll always be second class citizens and there’s still a lot of unwillingness to move but I’m glad to see that we’ve voiced it enough for other people to show some concern when medialites rear their head to say things like this.

  76. 76
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Asrat is beffuddled by the National Ballet School of Toronto:

    Currently, the ballet has a foreigner as a principal dancer, but this happens to be a Chinese-trained female dancer. I doubt that any American ballet company would want her. Imagine watching Swan Lake performed by a Chinese dancer?

    Obviously, she’s never heard of Zhong Jing Fang, corps de ballet dancer with American Ballet Theatre, who performed in, among other classic pieces, Swan Lake.

  77. 77
    evilisgood

    But she likes Jennifer Aniston! So it’s all ok.

  78. 78
    M31

    I just came across this Chinese Swan Lake the other day:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qk6Tq3LIo4&feature=player_embedded

    seriously, watch this. I kept saying to myself over and over–”wait, no one can do that!”. There are acts of balance here that I don’t think are actually possible.

  79. 79
    greylocks

    Also, too, it’s certain that “pretty” was exactly how the Messiah was played contemporaneously. It would have sounded entirely different than it does now. The sopranos and altos would have been boys, contratenors and/or castrati, the size of the chorus would have been much smaller than modern practice, and the orchestra would have been a chamber ensemble of about 16-25 musicians, with the “trumpets” being unvalved and the continuoso provided by a harpsichord rather than an organ.

    The modern practice of performing it balls-out with a huge chorus and full symphonic orchestra and/or a thundering pipe organ a la Mormon Crapernacle Choir is a Romantic Era development – basically the Beethovenization of the music.

    Unforunately, the Led Zeppelin interpretation of classical works is what the great majority of people, including her, want to hear, so Handel’s rather delicate pieces routinely get the overproduced rock music treatment. See also Barry Lyndon and umpteen reorchestrations of the Water and Fireworks suites.

  80. 80
    Midnight Rambler

    It’s not so much the racism itself, as the astonishing lack of self-awareness in criticizing “immigrants” and “foreigners” that’s striking. Does she really think that this kind of stuff applies to everyone else but her?

    Also, the usual argument against “multiculturalism” (in Europe, where it seems to have a different meaning than the US) is that immigrants aren’t assimilating like they used to But isn’t taking up violin and playing music written by European composers pretty much the ultimate cultural assimilation?

  81. 81
    Emrysmyrddin

    No, she liked Jennifer Aniston when she was “stylish”; now she’s “mousy” and “ugly” and “unfeminine”. She can’t mention anything without making a judgement, remember…

  82. 82
    Aquaria

    During the Nazi period in Germany, Felix Mendelssohn’s music was forbidden to be played.

    The Nazis deemed it “degenerate.” I guess his Jewish ancestry just couldn’t help making the music corrupt. Maybe they got a whiff of pixie dust from Midsummer Night’s Dream or something.

    Also, the statue of Mendelssohn in Leipzig was also and probably melted down during the Third Reich. A replacement was erected in October of 2008, in advance of the celebration of his 200th birthday.

    Come to think of it, what that scumbag Wagner wrote about music sounds eerily similar to this anti-Asian cretin:

    [Mendelssohn] has shown us that a Jew may have the amplest store of specific talents, may own the finest and most varied culture, the highest and tenderest sense of honour – yet without all these pre-eminences helping him, were it but one single time, to call forth in us that deep, that heart-searching effect which we await from art [...] The washiness and the whimsicality of our present musical style has been [...] pushed to its utmost pitch by Mendelssohn’s endeavour to speak out a vague, an almost nugatory Content as interestingly and spiritedly as possible.

    –Wagner, from Das Judenthum in der Musik

  83. 83
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Yes, Asians are just horrible with brass.

  84. 84
    mattee

    @67, 58, 37

    Malcolm Gladwell tells this story in “Blink:”
    “The world of classical music—particularly in its European home—was until very recently the preserve of white men. Women, it was believed, simply could not play like men. They didn’t have the strength, the attitude, or the resilience for certain kinds of pieces. Their lips were different. Their lungs were less powerful. Their hands were smaller. That did not seem like a prejudice. It seemed like a fact, because when conductors and music directors and maestros held auditions, the men always seemed to sound better than the women. No one paid much attention to how auditions were held, because it was an article of faith that one of the things that made a
    music expert a music expert was that he could listen to music played under any circumstances and gauge, instantly and objectively, the quality of the performance … Rainer Kuchl, the concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic, once said he could instantly tell the difference with his eyes closed between, say, a male and female violinist. The trained ear, he believed, could pick up the softness and flexibility of the female style….

    …Many musicians thought that conductors were abusing their power and playing favorites. They wanted the audition process to be formalized. That meant an official audition committee was established instead of a conductor making the decision all by himself. In some places, rules were put in place forbidding the judges from speaking among themselves during auditions, so that one person’s opinion would not cloud the view of another. Musicians were identified not by name but by number. Screens were erected between the committee and the auditioner, and if the person auditioning cleared his or her throat or made any kind of identifiable sound—if they were wearing heels, for example, and stepped on a part of the floor that wasn’t carpeted—they were ushered out and given a new number. And as these new rules were put in place around the country, an extraordinary thing happened: orchestras began to hire women.

    In the past thirty years, since screens became commonplace, the number of women in the top U.S. orchestras has increased fivefold.”

  85. 85
    Midnight Rambler

    Foreigners in ballet?!?! Next thing you know they’ll be hiring Russians…maybe even the French!!!1!1

  86. 86
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Dammit whatthehell

  87. 87
    Ingdigo Jump

    Also, the usual argument against “multiculturalism” (in Europe, where it seems to have a different meaning than the US) is that immigrants aren’t assimilating like they used to But isn’t taking up violin and playing music written by European composers pretty much the ultimate cultural assimilation?

    She mistakes multiculturalism for subjugation. She thinks that in a proper multiculturalism everyone becomes Western, or everyone stays away and does their own thing. The idea is that influences from cultures mix into each other.

  88. 88
    frankb

    K. Asrat is absolutely amazing. She has such stupid opinions about everything and insists on telling everyone. The farce is strong in this one.

  89. 89
    ljbriar

    From my brief experience in taking piano lessons and being in competitions, a bitter attitude toward Asian musicians is, I’m sad to say, shockingly common. “Good luck in the competition! Oh wait, you’re competing against an Asian. Might as well go home. Damn Asians with their perfect technique and no musicality.”

    No soul here, that’s for sure.

    Or here.

  90. 90
    Ingdigo Jump

    @F

    There is an actual example of multiculturalism. Traditionally Asian art style influenced by Western music.

  91. 91
    jacobfromlost

    “Does she even realize that standard audition procedure for orchestras is BLINDED, as in the people deciding who gets to be in the orchestra pick on the best SOUNDING players?”

    It would be an interesting experiment to blindfold this reviewer and have her pick out Asian players from others. I would be more impressed if she could distinguish German players from Swedish ones, or even pin-point geography (say, the South of France). I wonder if she could also tell through the “soul” of the music which players where Christians, and what flavor of Christianity. Could she also tell the cat people from the dog people? The night owls from the morning larks?

    The powers of this reviewer are indeed miraculous. Now all we need is a double blind test to determine her powers are real and not, you know, just idiotic self-confirming stupidity.

  92. 92
    consciousness razor

    Fuck, that was terrible.

    I had only gotten this far:

    As the concert progressed, I began to realize a certain “prettiness” in the performance, a lack of force, drive and even drama.

    … and I knew this ‘review’ was going to be utter shit. But I was definitely not prepared for a bunch of racist garbage. I know, you said it’d be “an exercise in pain.” I’ll try to keep that in mind next time.

    I don’t think this is simply a cultural phenomenon (as in misunderstanding the Messiah’s content, message, meaning, etc…).

    That curious little passage made me think it was going to be primarily a religious rant … and maybe it is, I don’t know. Too many idiotic curveballs in a row to tell anymore. (What’s her fucking Messiah have against Asian people? And for fuck’s sake, is this supposed to imply her readers know what the fuck she’s going on about?)

    I think it is a physio/cerebral problem.

    Yeah, but it’s yours. What a stupid asshole. Gah. And I was having a relatively pleasant day before this. Booze time.

  93. 93
    Moggie

    Don’t you dare do non-Jebus stuff at Easter:

    CTV (Canadian Television), Canada’s national news network (second to the formidable, and formidably leftist CBC), reported on the Easter festivities yesterday evening on its local news. I was interested to see what parades took place around the city. I happened to be around the Queen/Bay area late afternoon, and upon hearing a commotion past Queen Street, I asked a bystander if that was an Easter parade. Looking out, all I could see was a swarm of Sikhs walking along Queen Street to the West. I immediately said: “That’s not an Easter parade. That’s a bunch of Sikhs. They’ve done this before on Easter. They have nothing to do with Easter!” The woman looked (mildly) disgusted, and her expression agreed with my strong comments. I wished her a Happy Easter, and walked on.

    Let’s hope she misinterpreted the target of the woman’s mild disgust. Sikh New Year is in April, hence the parade, but they really ought to have the decency to revise their calendar, so that they don’t distract from lovely Christian celebrations of torture and death.

  94. 94
    frankb

    that immigrants aren’t assimilating like they used to

    That’s what really frightens the bigots. Did you know there are Cuban communities in Florida where people don’t have to learn to speak English. Oh the horror! Never mind that immigrants are learning English at the same rate they always have. Pay no attention to reality.

  95. 95
    madscientist

    I wonder – if she doesn’t like an all-whitey orchestra will she blame the Jewish conductor? Maybe she just doesn’t know fine music because she listens to nothing but Nirvana, Celine Dion, and Britney Spears.

  96. 96
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Also, the usual argument against “multiculturalism” (in Europe, where it seems to have a different meaning than the US) is that immigrants aren’t assimilating like they used to But isn’t taking up violin and playing music written by European composers pretty much the ultimate cultural assimilation?

    @ Midnight Rambler, I think you nailed it! The kind of ultra-conservatives who rant against “multiculturalism” often betray their core racist bias when they decry, at the same time, the evils of foreigners taking up traditional Western occupations! Apparently, immigrants can never get it right: if they keep too much of their culture, they are backwards folk who undermine the West by refusing to assimilate. But if they perform well in school, get jobs in white-dominated professions or take interest in classic European culture, they still undermine this culture by sneaking in their essential, irreducible alien-ness!

  97. 97
    Emrysmyrddin

    Looking out, all I could see was a swarm of Sikhs walking along Queen Street to the West. I immediately said: “That’s not an Easter parade. That’s a bunch of Sikhs. They’ve done this before on Easter. They have nothing to do with Easter!” The woman looked (mildly) disgusted, and her expression agreed with my strong comments. I wished her a Happy Easter, and walked on.

    Disgusted with you, not disgusted and with you. Self-awareness, how the fuck does it work?

  98. 98
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I’m done. If I read another hateful post, my head is going to explode all over the screen. Or the screen will test its endurance in falling out of the 13th floor window.

    I think “I”‘m starting to “see” “” “everywhere”.

  99. 99
    Emrysmyrddin

    Bialek went into a situation (flirting with a male she didn’t really know very well, apart from conversations at meetings) that she didn’t know the outcome of. Flirtatious, or sexual, invitations to any male have unforeseen consequences. Different men deal with these interactions differently. And different races too. I find that black men are much more eager to take anything (a smile, a mild hello) in a flirtatious or sexual light, and to proceed with their advances.

    Aaaaaarg, I got sucked back in is there no escape

  100. 100
    madscientist

    @MarkNS#25: Are you suggesting she’s a Black White Supremacist? Maybe that guy on Dave Chappelle’s show had a change of gender…

  101. 101
    Midnight Rambler

    Never mind that immigrants are learning English at the same rate they always have. Pay no attention to reality.

    Yep, I went to school (in the 1980′s) with Italian kids who spoke Italian at home and whose second-generation grandparents knew hardly any English. And the current crop of bigots (some of them, like Tom Tancredo, the descendants of that wave of immigration) conveniently ignores that the exact same BS was spouted towards the Italians, Portugese, Greeks, etc. – the “swarthy foreign hordes” taking over our cities and defiling the nation. H.P. Lovecraft’s stories are comically full of that kind of stuff.

  102. 102
    Moggie

    An antidote.

  103. 103
    garyb

    Khantron@64

    As an inhabitant of the Canuckistan prairies surrounded by Harper fanboys, all I can say is Canadian conservatives are American conservative wanna-bes.

  104. 104
    Midnight Rambler

    Are you suggesting she’s a Black White Supremacist?

    That sure seems to be the pattern that emerges from her posts. I have to wonder, too, what her experience is living in Canada. From looking at her picture I thought she was Indian at first, in part because she has a rather rounded nose and not the typical thin nose that many Ethiopians have. Plus, I’m sure there are a whole lot fewer Ethiopians in Canada than Indians. I wonder if being mistaken for an Asian has fed into her bigotry and resentment.

  105. 105
    Aquaria

    Although that could just be a matter of time, these instruments (brass and percussion) might actually be too physically demanding for them.

    O RLY?

  106. 106
    GeekMelange (formerly thepint)

    *jaw drops*

    That twit of a reviewer can kiss my Asian piano-playing ample ass.

  107. 107
    David Marjanović

    Heh. My dad used to believe in “mentalities” (less toxic, but similar in kind). He was very surprised to find that Seiji Ozawa conducted the New Year concert of the Vienna Philharmonics to his full satisfaction, with no emotions or whatever taken out.

    though the term at the time would have been “Mongoloids” I think

    “Mongolids”. “Mongoloids” were the people with trisomy XXI.

    AFAIK most people who learn instruments from a young age develop perfect pitch

    They retain it. We’re born with perfect pitch, and then most of us lose it because it interferes with understanding language – well, not all languages equally.

    It’s not the little boy who’s currently resembling Breivik here. This is actually quite disturbing, her fixation on this child and her ramblings.

    QFT.

    I knew that the modern conservative movement in the United States is based in the anti-civil rights movement, but in Canada where does this come from?

    From the USA.

    Mormon Crapernacle Choir

    :-D

    Day saved!

  108. 108
    Aquaria

    Too physically demanding for Asians?

    Seriously?

  109. 109
    Gregory Greenwood

    a friend of mine was a Korean PhD student.

    And there it is – the “one of my best friends is *insert minority group that has just been disparaged*” defence.

    Next she is going to tell us how willing she is to let asian people use her bathroom…

  110. 110
    evilisgood

    Emrysmyrddin @81:

    Point taken.

    I can’t read anymore. Blood keeps getting in my eyes from all the headdesking.

  111. 111
    slc1

    Re Aquaria @ #82

    Antisemitism was only a part of what made Richard Wagner a despicable excuse for a human being. Attached is a link to an essay by the American composer Deems Taylor which lays out at considerable length Wagner’s long list of warts.

    Here’s an excerpt detailing Wagner’s ingratitude.

    He was almost innocent of any sense of responsibility. Not only did he seem incapable of supporting himself, but it never occurred to him that he was under ay obligation to do so. He was convinced that the world owed him a living. In support of this belief, he borrowed money from everybody who was good for a loan — men, women, friends, or strangers. He wrote begging letters by the score, sometimes groveling without shame, at other loftily offering his intended benefactor the privilege of contributing to his support, and being mortally offended if the recipient declined the honor. I have found no record of his ever paying or repaying money to anyone who did not have a legal claim upon it.

    One of the most interesting thing about Wagner was that, despite his dislike of Jews, his music director at Bayreuth was the son of a Rabbi, Hermann Levi.

    http://www.wwenglish.com/en/school/5/jd/6/8173.htm

  112. 112
    Alex

    @Aquaria

    you see it too, right? eerie… The last time I have heard someone utter stuff like that in Germany, it was on a documentary about the Nazi underground.

    Come to think of it, what that scumbag Wagner wrote about music sounds eerily similar to this anti-Asian cretin:

  113. 113
    billyjoe

    The article was written on 1-4-12. April Fool’s Day!
    …oh wait, that hasn’t happened yet.
    *confused*

  114. 114
    Aquaria

    slc:

    Yeah, I knew Wagner was a total scumbag to just about everyone.

    I was merely pointing out how the attitude hasn’t changed with that one quote from him. Even the wording is the same.

  115. 115
    fullyladenswallow

    Sort of explains it-

    Her scriptural quote way down at the bottom of the page:

    Trust the lord with all
    your heart and lean not on
    your own undestanding;
    In all your ways
    acknowledge him, and
    and he will make your paths
    straight.
    Proverbs 3:5-6

  116. 116
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ billyjoe:

    For 1-4-12, read “January 4, 2012″. The author’s Canadian.

    ;-)

  117. 117
    TonyJ

    I’ve seen this kind of idiocy expressed elsewhere, and I just don’t get it. Do these people think that people of Asian descent are robots or something?

  118. 118
    Aquaria

    The article was written on 1-4-12. April Fool’s Day!
    …oh wait, that hasn’t happened yet.
    *confused*

    Ironic, yes, but 1/4/12 = January 4, 2012.

    I hope you knew that convention of listing dates.

  119. 119
    Quodlibet

    I visited her blog briefly, couldn’t stand the stink, and left straightaway to hose off my boots.

    Speaking as a classically trained musician…well, I’m speechless.

    What a sad, mean-hearted person. Frightened of so much. What a pathetic way to live.

    —-

    Antidote: The Hartford (CT) Symphony Orchestra recently appointed a young-ish Asian-American woman, Carolyn Kuan, as its new music director. She is the first woman and the first other-than-white person to hold the post. She’s a dynamite conductor and a lovely person (I’ve met her.) She has earned a degree in economics as well as two degrees in music.

    http://www.hartfordsymphony.org/about/music-director/

  120. 120
    Serendipitydawg(rebel without paws)

    I am impressed by your stamina, Emrysmyrddin, though I think you and Beatrice need to leave it alone now because every one of her uses of scare quotes kills a thousand of your brain cells. Be warned and stay away!

    I started reading your last link and made it as far as the sentence with “transgendered” and freak show, at which point I just had to give up… it’s a shame she doesn’t have a blog with comments because that precious flower could use a reality check.

  121. 121
    Utakata

    @F of 83

    Hatsune Miku has a weird sense of music selection too…but I keep forgetting she’s not even human. O.O

  122. 122
    'Tis Himself

    I have rarely read anyone so smug, so dismissive, and so convinced of her own rectitude.

  123. 123
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ David Marjanović:

    Actually, “Mongoloid” was once used both for people of East Asian descent and for those with Down syndrome:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongoloid

    In forensic anthropology, the synonym terms “Sinoid” (“Chinese-like”) and “Mongolic” are sometimes used.

  124. 124
    Alex

    It sounds like good material for a reality TV series though – “K. Asrat – Nazi music critic”

  125. 125
    thematrix

    The (not so) hidden racism and cultural ignorance of this woman is just astounding.

    If you just make the small effort of going to youtube and watch some clips on Chinese and Japanese traditional music, (which often has world renown), both are absolutely breathtaking and the drum ensembles are 100x more physically demanding then any western music.

    And more to her peeves, there’s a ton of world renowned asian musicians, who have always played western instruments.

    No piece of music has ever been as spine tingling for me then hearing O-Daiko, live on the front row.

    The raw emotion and physical display these drummers put to bare is just breathtaking.

    Wonder if that woman would make a similar review after hearing something like that.

  126. 126
    Quodlibet

    She would probably gag over this: In 2009, Yale University appointed eminent Bach scholar and conductor Masaaki Suzuki as visiting professor of choral conducting and conductor of Yale Schola Cantorum, the University’s acclaimed chamber choir. The Japanese maestro has been selected as the best-qualified musician to teach Yale students about performing Bach, who I think most musicians would agree is the exemplar of Western classical composition.

    From the news release: “Since founding Bach Collegium Japan in 1990, Suzuki has established himself as a leading authority on the works of J.S. Bach. He has remained the collegium’s music director ever since, taking the group regularly to major venues and festivals in Europe and the United States, and earning a reputation for the expressive refinement of his performances. In addition to conducting, Suzuki is also a renowned organist and harpsichordist. He is regularly invited to work with premier European soloists and groups, such as Collegium Vocale Gent and the Freiburger Barockorchester, and he recently appeared in London with the Britten Sinfonia. Forthcoming engagements with other ensembles include the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Nagoya Philharmonic and the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic Orchestras. In 2001 Suzuki was decorated with the Federal Order of Merit from Germany.”

    http://news.yale.edu/2009/03/12/yale-announces-appointment-conductor-masaaki-suzuki

  127. 127
    thematrix

    Did any of you guys read her last bit about Charlize Theron?

    Man that woman is shallow and well, only word I know to describe it with is, vile.

    And yeah, racist! Even a south african woman is to foreign for her and prime material to spew her bigoted tripe about.

  128. 128
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Ouch. Can there be such a thing as fractally racist?

  129. 129
    imthegenieicandoanything

    What a pile of stupid, garnished with just the right amount of ignorant, passive hatred!

    It’s a fine example of the wondrous powers of bigotry! It states a shitload-and-a-half of ignorant opinions and then thinks a sheet of transparant personal speculation will cover them.

    And she’s self-righteous about it!

    She surely is a member of the ‘Mer’kin 23% (where stupidity, ignorance and evil are indistinguishable when they share the same aims).

    And she likely will never be able to learn better, save through experiencing personal suffering.

    Well, I can pity her, but she still should fuck off. She doesn’t want to have someone like me talk to her.

  130. 130
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Actually now I think about it, fractally bigoted would be a better phrase to apply.

  131. 131
    imthegenieicandoanything

    Whoa! That’s what I get for posting based on a quick reading, without clicking to the link, and before allowing my disgust to settle a bit!

    And I thought she was just another reg’lar ‘Mer’kin!

    Maybe she’s more honestly ignorant! And empty.

  132. 132
    Anthony K

    I hate bigots like this.

    What part of “the ethnics are taking over, but don’t let on that we’re on to them” don’t they fucking get?

    Thanks for blowing the advantage, genius!

  133. 133
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ thematrix:

    I know the piece you mean! A prime example of bigotry magnetism: sexist (either you look feminine or you’re an “Android”), xenophobic (South African born Theron “tries too hard to be American”), fat-shaming (singer Beth Ditto describe as “amoeba-like”)…

    Gaah. It’s like a descent into a slimepit of Stupid.

  134. 134
    jacobusvanbeverningk

    What a treasure trove of brainless stupidity that lady’s blog is.

  135. 135
    Michael Brew

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen my gf (who’s Taiwanese) flip off a screen so hard.

  136. 136
    Moggie

    Charlize Theron won an oscar for that performance in Monster. It’s the role which made people start to take her seriously, as something more than just another hot model-turned-actor. But Asrat claims not to understand why an actor would want to play someone unpleasant and not supermodel-attractive. This is not credible for someone with (according to her bio) a background in film and video.

  137. 137
    Woof

    There’s gotta be some Purity of Essence in there somewhere…

  138. 138
    Moggie

    Ok, I’m done with this piece of filth. After reading this post, I can’t read any more.

  139. 139
    Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally

    Wow, the author needs to check herself! Also, been reading this website, which is hilarious as fuck.

    http://yoisthisracist.com/

  140. 140
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ Moggie #136:

    Oooh, but you understand, by transforming her looks, Charlize Theron also made her soul ugly!!!

    No, absolutely no shallowness here, Ms Asrat…

  141. 141
    thematrix

    Moggie: yeah, that bit about Charlize trying to hard to be american and ruining her standing as an actress by tainting her looks and “soul” for a movie role, had to reread that 3 times.

    I was just baffled.

    I know some people have strange views about the world, heck, my own dad can say some rather racist things about Turkish and Moroccan people (the 2 largest immigrant groups in Belgium) but if he meets one that speaks dutch without an accent or at least acts western, his prejudices disappear very quickly.

    But this woman, even when someone integrates very well, she still finds it sufficient to know that person originated in another country, to hate them.

  142. 142
    futurechemist

    So, she expects that when Asian people are in an orchestra, they’ll start randomly inserting the Asian riff into Beethoven and Mozart?

  143. 143
    craigore

    That is just a god awful attempt at orientalization and racist stereotyping. The author should be absolutely ashamed.

    I will point out that many Koreans are very adept at things like math and memorization, not because they are in anyway phisiologically different from other human groups, but because of incredible cultural pressure that has (and continues) to be imposed upon them by the state, by institutions of education, and even by members within the home. Out of East Asia, the Koreans are a people who have a long painful history of marginalization and dominance by other nations that just happened to be stronger in terms of access to resources – China for the most part, Japan for 35 years of annexation and colonial rule. In the modern era (the 20th-21st centuries) the people of the former Hermit Kingdom had been thrust into ‘modernity’ at gun point during the Cold War and caught in a desperate struggle for ideological survival (with many of the embers still remaining), simultaneously overcoming some of the most vicious derogatory racist slander that had been used against them. As a result many of them have come to live according to a motto that anyone can mold themselves if they try hard enough, that anything can be mastered with enough dedication, and that innate talents are of little significance. Tragically, it still to a degree translates into violence in the schools and the homes and the military in which they (north and south) continue to endure conscription, where they may be ‘beaten into excellence’ at what task they have been assigned – in quite a few cases, to the out right breaking point for the presumed good of the nation. It has greatly eased up in the south of the peninsula as they’re now among the most prosperous of countries on earth – granted the debate over applying corporal punishment to academic pursuits remains with hopefully some promise of eventually eliminating it. I don’t even want to talk about what goes on in the north though I’ll bet quite a few of you have a very good idea… “Nothing to Envy; Ordinary Lives in North Korea,” by Barbara Demick, and “Inside the Red Box; North Korea’s Post Totalitarian Politics” by Patrick Mceachern are rather excellent books on the topic. If anyone else has any they’d like to recommend I’ll gladly look into them.

  144. 144
    timgueguen

    Yeah, a lot of Canadian right wingers are basically branch plant American conservatives. Saskatchewan Conservative Party Members of Parliament Maurice Vellicott and Brad Trost could be swapped with various Republican Congressmen and no one would know the difference. In fact I would imagine they’d jump at the chance.

    As far as Asians not being able to play brass goes I’m guessing this foolish woman has never heard of Toshinori Kondo or Cuong Vu. Or for that matter all those folks who play the khen, the South East Asian mouth organ, or its Chinese cousin the sheng. You can’t play one if you don’t have a good set of lungs.

  145. 145
    Moggie

    craigore: The Cleanest Race: how North Koreans see themselves – and why it matters (B. R. Myers).

  146. 146
    Philip Langmuir

    During the Nazi period in Germany, Felix Mendelssohn’s music was forbidden to be played.

    Symphony No. 4 in A Major (Italian), 1st movement Allegro vivace. János Sándor conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra

    I play in the youth orchestra János conducted until his death. We have three percussionists: two are east Asian; the third, at that time the tympanist, is European. János – all of 5′ tall – would sometimes complain about the tympanist playing too quietly, and come over to demonstrate how it should be played. Deafening half the orchestra in the process.

    I can’t see “Asians” having any trouble in brass or percussion.

  147. 147
  148. 148
    strange gods before me ॐ

    oh i should have reloaded the page

  149. 149
    strange gods before me ॐ

    oh i should have reload page

  150. 150
    craigore

    @Moggie
    Thanks. Hugs. I’ll check it out.

  151. 151
    jimmaughan

    She also supports vandalizing artwork:
    “Therefore, the right reaction for this ugly work is to cut it to shreds with scissors, just as the Christians in New Zealand instinctively and confidently did.”
    http://cameraluc.blogspot.com/2011/12/sacredness-of-art.html

    Oh yeah, our Ethiopian immigrant doesn’t like immigrants(or liberals or atheists.)
    “Over the few years that I have maintained Camera Lucida, I began to realize that several factors were eroding, if not outright destroying, the culture and society I was writing about. Liberalism is one, multiculturalism (and its twin, immigration) is another, but one final one is Islam.”
    http://ourchanginglandscape.blogspot.com/2009/09/about.html

    As a 58yo Toronto born WASP I’m sure glad someone’s looking out for my culture (and precious bodily fluids).

  152. 152
    Pareidolius

    In closing her piece on the little white boy and the yellow peril upstairs . . .

    Am I over-reacting? Is there anything positive that this family can do? Is the little boy doomed: Will he end up marrying the daughter of his Chinese neighbors? Will he ever learn to get suspicious of foreigners, and foreign and dangerous things of all kinds, when his talents – he is clearly energetic and talented – lead him to important positions in his country, and he becomes an easy target?

    My sister married Teh Chineez! How can I ever look at my sister’s Chinese-English-Greek-Irish sons in quite the same way again? Or my Mayan-Norwegian-Swedish-Welsh nephews from my half-sister? Ruh Roh, I guess we’re too multiculti for Crazy Racist Textile Lady. Maybe my next boyfriend should be Arab. Yummy.

  153. 153
    Rip Steakface

    There’s a pretty equal proportion of Asians in both my high school band and in my high school orchestra. Also, we have Asians in percussion and brass. So yeah, right off the bat, she’s wrong at a frickin’ *high school* level.

  154. 154
    SallyStrange

    Yeah… I was just reading Maryam Namazie’s blog. This post is about how the Iranian regime is executing people for blasphemy, like, LOTS of people, and the US needs to isolate and sanction them for it. Okay, great. So what’s the first comment about? How Arabs are to blame for ALL of Iran’s problems. Bigotry is everywhere. It’s so tempting, so simple… so much easier than actually thinking.

  155. 155
    Alex the Pretty Good

    But there seems to be an inability to create a synthesized beauty, which is what much of art (and order in Science) is about.

    I guess the only thing I can do in this case is to join several of the earlier posts in this thread and offer the Dutch/Indonesian (there’s that awful multi-culturalism again) Wibi Soerjadi as a counter-example.

  156. 156
    patrickbarrett

    I’ve just read about 20 posts on her blog, and she appears to be a thoroughly stupid and hateful person. Her little rant about Asian musicians is pretty typical.

  157. 157
    Daz, when the wind's called Mariah I know a hawk from a handsaw

    Larry @142

    So, she expects that when Asian people are in an orchestra, they’ll start randomly inserting the Asian riff into Beethoven and Mozart?

    Just like those damned cockneys, no doubt.

  158. 158
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Gah, can’t help myself, it’s like a black hole of Teh Stoopid! And it’s not only K. Asrat, there’s a whole little constellation of hateful, bigoted blogs she links to. One of them quoted a sociological study showing that Whites were more likely than African Americans to go camping during the holidays, the idiot concluded that “Blacks don’t like nature”!!

    What did these people do to their brains, put them in the Large Hadron Collider?

  159. 159
    isilzhaveni

    It would be so much more fun if her posts had a comment section. However, I’m guessing she learned early on that wasn’t a great addition to her blog.

    Also, I would think that the parents of that pristine little white boy have been keeping him inside more because they’ve learned there’s a crazy lady living right right across the street! Never mind the ambiguous threats of the world at large…there’s a whole lot of scary just out the front door!

    Too bad Ms. Asrat is so smugly satisfied with herself for educating those parents about the ethnic stranger danger lurking around them that she doesn’t even realize that she’s likely the one the parents perceive as the threat. From that post she has made some very odd assumptions and predictions about that boy and his family. No telling what she actually said to them when she marched across the street to pronounce her judgments on the boy.

  160. 160
    craigore

    @Love Moderately
    You too. Thanks.
    And for some of the most vicious slander (dear god…) that these people have faced, think something like ‘they’re mudloving toadies who can’t help but live in their own shit’ – which I believe that was a Japanese supremicist view of Korea during the colonial years (1910-1945). Now think of such a slur being applied to yourself, your family, your neighbors, your community, your school, business, and nation. Then imagine being placed at gun point and told ‘you will end these slurs against your fellow countrymen.’ That’d be some fucking pressure wouldn’t it?

  161. 161
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Sigh. Let’s have some more antidotes:

    Bach’s “Goldberg Variations”, by the wonderful Zhu Xiao-Mei, whose love of classical Western music made her suspect to the Maoist bigots during the Cultural Revolution. To make matters worse, she’s been living in France for more than 25 years now, training young virtuosi from all kinds of cultural backgrounds!

  162. 162
    craigore

    It is an intolerable weakness to have such a ruthless fear of people and things foreign. The costs are terrebly detrimental.

  163. 163
    michaelnam

    I’m not really sure how much anyone really wants to spend time with this fluffy-headed, theist who presumes to know so much about “races”. And I’m of Korean ancestry (I do not play a musical instrument, nor am I “good” at math…I can calculate a tip).

    Frankly, looking around at her decadent, unsupported drivel one comes to the conclusion that she truly values style over substance at least in the constructions of her arguments. Koreans are this thing. Whites are another thing. And this all gets hand-waved away by referring to her training in classical music. In the world of specialized arch-conservative aesthetes with art/beauty/religion being synonymous and interchangeable, she may be “hot stuff”, but as a communicator, her airiness serves to expose her as “hot air”. The coherency of her premise and the construction of her syllogism boils down to: I have thought this, thus it is so. A power generally reserved for her ill-defined art-director-in-the-sky, God. But, such is the arrogance of an Ethiopian emigre who retains one of the least attractive characteristics of the well-provided-for immigrant who comes to a Western culture: denouncing the thing that allows her to be able to denounce this thing. She takes advantage of multiculturalism (to zing her critics in an email who she feels came at her with LESS fervor than she would imagine a more ethnocentric respondent might) while at the same time denouncing its (baldly asserted) depredations on the West, for example, in blog posts about the symbolic danger of consuming Halal food (if she were a non-believer, another group she must critique with weakened barbs worthy of, say, a bake sale organizer at a Church picnic in the Rural South of the U.S., symbolically eating food blessed by “Allah” would hardly matter any more than eating food blessed by Papa Smurf…but such is her own particular, supernatural hangup).

    Perhaps among the population of aesthetes and literati who consider themselves politically conservative, outwardly ethnocentric, and aggressively chauvinistic, she is able to maintain a spell by using her lilted, circuitous, and ultimately vain style poorly masking her intellectual vacuity. It’s clear, however, that all she really wants to do is make welfare jokes about some minorities and take low-brow shots at President Obama (because even in Canada, conservatives are more concerned about the Black Guy President than their own ruling party) and his wife’s choice in dogs.

    Frankly, you only get such hints as to her passionate distaste for liberalism, multiculturalism, and Michelle Obama. It would be safe to hazard that in terms of writing, her style is that of a repressed, delusional conservative with aggressive, but unfocused tendencies. Thus, this is what a socialized state making sure a woman such as Kidist Paulos Arat grows up educated, protected, and taken care of medically, has brought us. Canadian conservatives under the impression that their meager command of the English language allows them to aggressively push themselves into discourse on matters that actually extend well beyond their expertise, her understanding of music notwithstanding, and to do it in a manner that is no “better” than American conservatives. I mean, she seems better than some “conservatives”, but she is also non-American, so there “is isn’t” an American preferential selection in trying to put together a literate (good is another issue) blog of “other” “better” writers.

    postscript: I’m sure if you were to make jokes about her own background from a country rife with terrible tragedy and historic pain, she would either dismiss you as a racist, or firmly ensconce herself in the identity of “the exception”. Meanwhile, not doing it would render you an impotent multiculturalist. In other words, while I really had fun writing this out, engaging with her is a waste of words as lengthy as her self-indulgent, trite journal of pointless meanderings.

  164. 164
    Anthony K

    Also, been reading this website, which is hilarious as fuck.

    http://yoisthisracist.com/

    Ooh! A Gnu-esque answer:

    Yo, far and away the best part about that crazy-ass exchange is how big a role Jesus Christ (allegedly) played in ensuring that there isn’t peace in the Middle East.

  165. 165
    Anthony K

    This one seems like it could be tailored for a number of situations:

    Anonymous asked: Yo, is it racist if I activley dread having Hispanic customers because my racist coworker takes their presences as a cue to spew her horrifying bullshit at me?

    Yo, I don’t want to tell you how to think (wait, ok, fine, I kind of do), but you are getting mad at the wrong thing in this situation. Try telling your coworker she’s a fucking racist to help alleviate the tension!

  166. 166
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Also, been reading this website, which is hilarious as fuck.

    http://yoisthisracist.com/

    That’s right everyone, kids in Arizona are now, by law, some dumb motherfuckers.

    That shit is golden. Thanks for pointing me at it.

  167. 167
    Anthony K

    Awesome—someone’s also been directed to write a conversialist blog for upticks:

    Anonymous asked: Was Jesus racist?

    Yo, to be racist, first you have to exist (oh snaaaaaaaaaaaaap!).

    :D

    Just thought I’d change up the hatemail composition.

    Yep, thanks Cyranothe2nd.

  168. 168
    craigore

    Another good book I just finished was an autobiography about a Korean gentleman who grew up at the end of the colonial period, witnessed the withdrawal of the Japanese, the political chaos that followed, the explosion of the Korean war, and the settling of the DMZ and ensuing Cold War in South Korea. It was about his journey to become an American, which he did in 2001, granting full citizenship. As far as I can tell he lives in Federal Way, WA and his name is Ung Ho Chang. He entitled it, “The Winding Road”. It’s short but fascinating.

  169. 169
    Scarina

    Wow, for someone with a background in design, that is one damn ugly blog. I guess the bilirubin yellow just matches the bile she spews.

  170. 170
    carlie

    So sad the way Yo-Yo Ma can’t play for shit.
    (eyeroll)

  171. 171
    carlie

    Is it terrible to wish that somehow her life circumstances end up such that she has to spend an extended period of time living in Outer Mongolia?

  172. 172
    C.C.Fuss, backup angry dude in a skirt

    Putting a majority (or a large number) of Asians in a western orchestra will invariably make it more Asian. Musicians like Mary Lee, who allow this to happen, have at some point to concede the inferiority of this type orchestra compared to that with a majority of whites

    Interesting how similar this is to the ‘arguments’ made against allowing women to be members of orchestras. The Vienna Philharmonic only admitted women as members in the late 1990s. Many of the players were opposed to having women, on the grounds that the orchestra’s “special sound” was due to it’s being all-male; if they let women in, it would ruin their distinctive sound.

    Funny how they couldn’t distinguish their special man-sound from icky women-sound when forced to hold blind auditions…

  173. 173
    Anthony K

    Is it terrible to wish that somehow her life circumstances end up such that she has to spend an extended period of time living in Outer Mongolia?

    Yeah, let’s not sink to her lev—oh, you said ‘living’. Totally fine. It’ll either be educational or cause her to jump of a cliff in despair. Win-win for humanity.

  174. 174
    craigore

    Oh. One thing I found particularly amusing in Ung Ho Chang’s account about the Japanese withdrawal. He was there to witness it, but no one there really did. They were just gone – fled in the night. A while later, the Americans came (a first encounter, with real-live-yankees, for him and most if not all others around him), followed by ‘joint trusteeship in due course’ and initial partition of the peninsula.

  175. 175
    ibyea

    @Craigore
    Jeez, I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for my grandparents during that era (they were probably kids at the time). I am so glad that now they can live happily in a rich, prosperous democracy.

  176. 176
    craigore

    Thanks so much for the antidotes, all you guys.

  177. 177
    allytude

    Like other commentors here, I cannot help reading that piece of batshit insanity that is her website. No one liberals, multicultural lovers, Indians, Michelle Obama(actually she has a particular vendetta against the Obamas),Asians, people who have non-Church weddings,Sikhs, is spared. Are we sure this is not a poe?

  178. 178
    craigore

    @Ibyea
    My university honors thesis was actually on the cold war period and the evolution of the US garrison and Demilitarized Zone from 1953 to present. That included two years of study on Korea and military history/culture after I completed a university sponsored exploration seminar to the ROK, and a year of Korean language – I have virtually no Korean relations in my background and it was my first time learning Hangul. My interests were (and still are) very much on its related socio-cutlural, political, and environmental impacts as well as present/future prospects.

    The United States has been a most ideal if not misadventurous/awkward big brother to this small country. It absolutely flourished under the green house effect of being tragically a front line state in a global standoff. It’s little wonder so many flock to make this land at least their second home (holds true from many many new nations formerly colonized).

  179. 179
    craigore

    many *from Korea* flock to the US in what has been described as the ‘Korean wave’ including both people and culture mostly hitting the west coast but spreading. One of my own friends, business major who hails from Pyongtaek next to USAG Humphreys, actually went cross country in the US for summer break. He goes on about wanting to be back stateside.

  180. 180
    ladydreamgirl

    @ carlie
    I know, his playing is just so lacking in force, drive, and drama.
    /snark

  181. 181
    Anthony K

    Are we sure this is not a poe?

    Well, does it seem funny or satirical to you? If not, I’m not sure whether it’s a Poe matters.

    Because the whole Poe thing has become kind of a problem. How do we ever know whether anything is a Poe? Maybe Hitler was just being ironic. Maybe that uncle who brings up affirmative action every time he has at least three Michelob Lights at the family barbeque is pulling some Andy Kaufman-type routine. And maybe this person HATES racism so much she’s trying to make us all aware of how ludicrous the racism that infests the Art music scene is, in the most unfunny and kind-of-just-racist way possible.

    I mean, what’s the point? What’s the joke? Is there a non-racist reason for the ‘sounding-like-a-racist-but-ha-ha-I-don’t-really-mean-it-because-I’m-totally-not’-schtick?

    Hell, a Democrat could pull a Poe by voting Republican, and we’d all have to agree that they totally faked us out and wow, that was indistinguishable from something an actual Republican would do, but what would be the point? “Great Poe, Lars. We’re all really impressed at how you highlighted the insanity of those who’d vote for Santorum by helping him win.”

    I suppose some people might like to fake things like this in order to generate hate mail which they would then point to as an example of the ‘hysteria’ of their political or social opponents or whatever (conservatives and Hoggle sometimes do this because they’re too stupid to live but not decent enough to die), but that’s pretty much the same as being racist. “See how upset liberals got at my ‘fake’ blog post saying the Jews were behind every economic downturn since the 1600s? Those idiots. They’ll believe anything.” It’s kind of like videoing yourself kicking a puppy in the face hoping PETA’s reaction will make them look like assholes. Er, good job?

    Back to this site: I’m usually pretty good at sniffing out whether or not someone’s being satirical, and there’s no vibe of funny or clever about what she writes. So, she’s either a racist and a moron, or a non-racist and a moron.

  182. 182
    tielserrath

    Blimey. I dipped here and there, but had to wash my hands and fumigate my brain. She is a case, isn’t she?

    Leaving aside the overt racism and bigotry…

    I may be wrong, but it seems her claim to have extensive training in classical music is learning to play the piano, and also playing the violin from ages 10-15.

    By her estimation I’m a professional linguist with an extensive knowledge of current research in physics and chemistry.

    The photography and watercolours seem to my keen-amateur-artist eye to be average, to say the least. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, except when she talks up her artistic training, I expect something a little more skilled.

    Most of her skill-claims are paper thin; ‘taking classes’ in the arts under all sorts of well-known people is possible if you pony up the cash, and she mentions having international photographic exhibitions but does not link the galleries where these were held. She did ‘two years’ of classes, but no mention of a degree or qualification?

    According to the website the board of directors for Trinity Square video are:

    Renee Lear
    Johnson Ngo
    Osiel Garcia
    Matthew Hogue
    David Poolman

    Curiously she isn’t on the list, despite her claims.

    She is a somewhat um… grandiose personality, isn’t she?

  183. 183
    craigore

    @Brownian
    Well put.

  184. 184
    Anthony K

    Thanks, craigore.

    I hope that didn’t come across as me yelling at allytude, because I’m not. It’s a legit question (no one likes to have their leg pulled after all), but I don’t want to give quarter to the assholes who use “it was a joke” as an excuse to be openly bigotted or sexist.

  185. 185
    craigore

    @Brownian
    It didn’t. It was a very legitmate concern.

  186. 186
    craigore

    *that you had*.

  187. 187
    mepmep09

    TBogg posted on this about a week ago, and imbedded a You-Tube of Japan’s Kodo Drummers (10:38), to demonstrate just how percussion-challenged those Asian types are. Why, there are even hints out there that Koreans can beat a mean drum as well (3:41).

  188. 188
    craigore

    @mepmep09
    “Why, there are even hints out there that Koreans can beat a mean drum as well”

    HAHAHA. They’re even in the traditional dress, nice.

  189. 189
    pitbone62

    There’s certainly a social stigma among some Asians (particularly older generations) which has them discourage their children from playing brass instruments, but it’s gradually changing.

    As a white professional brass player, however, I call bunkum on “brass and percussion might be too physically demanding for them.”

    These guys do okay, and there’s arguably some “force, drive and even drama.”

  190. 190
    craigore

    @pitbone62
    fuckin’ ROCKY! YES!!!

  191. 191
    Anthony K

    I hope that didn’t come across as me yelling at allytude, because I’m not. It’s a legit question (no one likes to have their leg pulled after all), but I don’t want to give quarter to the assholes who use “it was a joke” as an excuse to be openly bigotted or sexist.

    Jeez, I’m an idiot. Sorry allytude, I hope that didn’t come across as me yelling at you.

    Don’t know why I third-personed you there in 183.

  192. 192
    ShowMetheData

    What an idiot! Asians aren’t strong enough to carry a tune???

  193. 193
    psanity

    If I lived across the street from that woman, and had a small child, I’d get a protective order.

  194. 194
    nico

    I logged in just for this.

    This “stellar” piece of humanity lives in my city? Toronto’s one of the last places you should be if your ittsy bittsy bigot brain can’t cope with multiculturalism.

    And while I know we have them in our midst, this one’s spectacularly disturbed in a way that the authorities and CAMH might do her a world of good, if she’s spying or stalking.Her posts might be garden variety bigot but there’s a considerable amount of obsessive hate in there too.

  195. 195
    Rixaeton

    *gasp* *pant*

    Sorry I am late to the party, but I had to come as weapons-grade stupid is always fun to refute.

    But they are notably absent in the brass and percussion sections. Although that could just be a matter of time, these instruments (brass and percussion) might actually be too physically demanding for them.

    Yeah, it is only a matter of time until this happens

  196. 196
    headfullabooks

    Wow, she and Michelle Malkin must totally be BFFs! Oh wait…

  197. 197
    allytude

    @Brownian, not really.
    Having spent the better part of the evening reading that blog, I can only say this person genuinely believes that crap. Nope aint a poe a at all. This is one sick sick paranoid individual. How can someone be so genuinely weird- everything seems to make her annoyed at immigrants- from Vera Wang’s designs to the Starbucks barista asking her about oatmeal(told you I was reading that? And the best part is this person is an immigrant or an immigrant descendant herself- just wow!

  198. 198
    psanity

    Wow, she and Michelle Malkin must totally be BFFs! Oh wait…

    Ya, I was thinking that. Like Malkin, she wants sooooo bad to be a member of the White Folks Club. Be like them, think like them, blog like them. Except, retain the advantage of claiming non-white-ness when called out for bigotry.

    (I apologize for leaving out clarifying scare-quotes. Currently, they are causing me an acute gag-response. Please imagine them as needed, if you can stand it.)

  199. 199
    nms

    The article was written on 1-4-12. April Fool’s Day!
    …oh wait, that hasn’t happened yet.
    *confused*

    Canada is a confusing place

  200. 200
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Yamato drummers are having a concert in two weeks here. Weak, huh?

    Also, Moggie, that post you linked to in #138 must be the worst piece of filth I have read lately. Or maybe ever. *thinking violent thoughts*

  201. 201
    fredbloggs

    I particularly liked:

    “Just to be clear, I studied piano since I was five years old. At ten I took up the violin for about five years. I started singing in classical choirs singing sacred music (as a soprano, and sometimes as a soloist) since I was ten, and continued well into my twenties. So, my observations weren’t mere opinions.

    (My emphasis.)

    Soooo, what she’s expressing ISN’T mere opinion – No, her words are authoritative. You cannot doubt them.

  202. 202
    Moggie

    mepmep09:

    TBogg posted on this about a week ago

    Thanks for that, because one of the comments there links to this performance, which genuinely made me cry.

    nico:

    This “stellar” piece of humanity lives in my city? Toronto’s one of the last places you should be if your ittsy bittsy bigot brain can’t cope with multiculturalism.

    You could meet her! She works as a “salesgirl” (her word) at the Eaton Centre branch of Laura’s. She was writing negatively about the place right from the start. I’m sure that everyone has grumbled about their job – people who work in retail possibly more than most – but when you publicly run down your employer and their customers even before they’ve offered you the job, you’ve got a bad attitude.

  203. 203
    Teshi

    At some level, I think Asians demonstrate some ability (i.e. memorization, or fast, scale-like exercises). But there seems to be an inability to create a synthesized beauty, which is what much of art (and order in Science) is about.

    This comment reminds of those directed towards women in mathematics and science in an earlier time. Women were known to be accurate calculators and could memorize well, but couldn’t create or innovate.

    This woman is appallingly offensive and stupid.

  204. 204
    Teshi

    People are right: this woman’s blog is a smorgasbord of racism, bordering easily on obssession. She makes it her business to seek out things she fears, interrogate people in the street, watches people to draw absurd conclusions (gay men are twitchy?!) based on a single observation and closes elevators on people she doesn’t like.

    The elevator came, and there was one person (a youngish white man) already in there. I was in a hurry, the elevator couldn’t possibly hold six people comfortably, and I was in no mood to stand in a confined space with people chattering “happily” in a language alien and strange to me.

    So, I quickly pressed the “close” button, which threw them off. No more chattering, and funnily enough, no attempt to hold the door open. They saw what I was doing. But, wouldn’t more considerate people wait for the other elevator (there are two elevators) instead of cramming into the confined space of one? Is this the kind of Third World over-population mentality we’re going to have to put up with in mulit-culti Toronto?

    I said to the man: “We are turning into Babylon! What language are they speaking! It sounds like some kind of Nepalese, or some Chinese dialect! Why don’t they at least learn English before coming here!”.

    It reminds me of the Alan Bennett Talking Head monologue a Lady of Letters, when a woman observes in the same kind of way and, in the absence of the internet, writes letters to people until she goes too far by intervening in a small boy’s life.

    Perhaps, I hope, this is a similar literary work?

  205. 205
    elronxenu

    There’s enough material there for an entire conference.

  206. 206
    imrryr

    But they are notably absent in the brass and percussion sections. Although that could just be a matter of time, these instruments (brass and percussion) might actually be too physically demanding for them.

    It’s clearly not too demanding for any of these fellows:

  207. 207
    Marcus Ranum

    Racism is just an example of how our brains fail, sometimes, when they try to extrapolate general rules from apparent experience. In fact, we get it wrong all the time — that’s why we have techniques like science to help us figure out which rules work better. In this case, we see what happens when you adopt incorrect generalizations based on appearance.

  208. 208
    Eurasian magpie

    She spills her poison all over the intert00bs. Here are her views on interracial adoption:

    moar stupid

    Basically, it sends a devaluing message to white children when white parents adopt brown babbies.

  209. 209
    Moggie

    imrryr: it’s good, but I wish Eiji Oue would show more emotion. Heh.

  210. 210
    Marcus Ranum

    But there seems to be an inability to create a synthesized beauty, which is what much of art (and order in Science) is about.

    I wanted to point out that the Chinese were making some pretty amazing music when Europeans’ ancestors were wallowing in the dark ages. And I thought I’d post a link to some guqin performances or maybe Jie-Bing Chen playing erhu… So I went on youtube and searched for Jie-Bing Chen and – huh – I discovered Jie-Bing (who I mentally always thought of as “JBC”) is a female. I wasn’t surprised at all, but knowing a person only through audio recordings, it’s pretty hard to tell their gender unless they somehow convey it. I suppose there are people out there who assume that because a musician is great, they must also be a guy?

    There’s not much JBC on youtube but I cannot recommend her (now I know she’s a “her”!) highly enough!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXV0Iz6WHMg

    Guqin is the ancient Chinese zither – it’s 5,000 year old jamming technology. Li Xiangting (his album “sleeping lotus” is amazing) manages:

  211. 211
    Marcus Ranum

    Oops – sorry about the embed. I don’t understand why it embedded one and not the other. That wasn’t my intent.

  212. 212
    ChasCPeterson

    So I learned that a) there is a crazy racist posting shit on the internet! and b) commenters here at Pharyngula don’t like crazy racism, not at all!

    We’re born with perfect pitch, and then most of us lose it

    citation, plz?

  213. 213
    Rey Fox

    Today I learned that Chas C. Peterson is the smartest human being on the face of the Earth.

    Again.

  214. 214
    Gregory Greenwood

    Rey Fox @ 212;

    Today I learned that Chas C. Peterson is the smartest human being on the face of the Earth.

    Again.

    Now now, be fair. At least this time Chas C. Peterson isn’t engaing in his usual whine complaint about how boring discussing the problem of misogyny is, and how the issues just don’t engage his lofty intellect anymore.

    This time he is complaining about how boring discussing the problem of racism is, and will possibly go on to explain how it no longer engages his lofty intellect.

    That, right there, could be called a form of progress.

    Sort of.

    All he has to do now is complain about how boring discussing the problem of homophobia is, and how it no longer engages his lofty intellect, and he will have the whole set…

  215. 215
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    All he has to do now is complain about how boring discussing the problem of homophobia is, and how it no longer engages his lofty intellect, and he will have the whole set…

    Yeah. He probably doesn’t even realize ablism in general and neurotypicalism in particular exist.

  216. 216
    Gregory Greenwood

    Azkyroth @ 214;

    Yeah. He probably doesn’t even realize ablism in general and neurotypicalism in particular exist.

    But now that you have mentioned them, what is the betting that they are boring…?

    And issues of transgender rights and cis-sexual privilege? I have a sinking feeling that they will be declared boring as well…

  217. 217
    jrkrideau

    @ 198 nms

    Off topic

    Re Canada is a confusing place. I think the Federal Gov’t has officially endorsed yyyy-mm-dd but nobody told the civil service or the rest of Canada :)

    For real confusion you should have heard the Canadian on Radio Netherlands trying to explain Canadian time zones. She was doing okay but lost in interviewer somewhere between Newfoundland +00:30 and Saskatewan not on daylight saving. It beat Monty Python!

  218. 218
    David Marjanović
    Is it terrible to wish that somehow her life circumstances end up such that she has to spend an extended period of time living in Outer Mongolia?

    Yeah, let’s not sink to her lev—oh, you said ‘living’. Totally fine. It’ll either be educational or cause her to jump of a cliff in despair. Win-win for humanity.

    Cliffs in Mongolia (which was called “Outer Mongolia” till the end of WWII).

    citation, plz?

    Something I read 10 to 15 years ago in a popular magazine, can’t even remember which one. It reported some real research, but probably didn’t cite it. If you’re bored here, have fun hunting the paper down!

  219. 219
    'Tis Himself

    Today I learned that Chas C. Peterson is the smartest human being on the face of the Earth.

    Again.

    Not to mention the most bored person on Earth.

  220. 220
    Quodlibet

    Born With The Perfect Pitch?
    ScienceDaily (Feb. 22, 2001)
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010222074848.htm

    ‘Perfect Pitch’ In Humans Far More Prevalent Than Expected
    ScienceDaily (Aug. 26, 2008)
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080826080600.htm

    One of the problems I have with these studies is the varying definitions for “perfect pitch.” The first one cited above defines it as “The ability to identify a note on the musical scale without a single reference point” while the second one defines it as “the ability to recognize and remember a tone without a reference.” Most musicians I know, including me, would say it’s closer to the former.

    And most musicians I know (including me) would prefer not to have perfect pitch. Perfect relative pitch, yes (being able to hear, identify, and reproduce all intervals).

  221. 221
    michellezapf-belanger

    I’m not sure if anyone will care, but the principal violist of the TSO is a woman named Teng, not a man named Treng. This woman didn’t check her facts.

  222. 222
    pitbone62

    I’m not sure if anyone will care, but the principal violist of the TSO is a woman named Teng, not a man named Treng. This woman didn’t check her facts.

    And the concertmaster isn’t Asian at all, he’s white. (A phenomenal player though!) The associate concert master is also a white man. As are all the other string principals who she didn’t mention. All the brass principals are also white men…oh, wait…those instruments are too hard for Asians.

  223. 223
    Anthony K

    And most musicians I know (including me) would prefer not to have perfect pitch. Perfect relative pitch, yes (being able to hear, identify, and reproduce all intervals).

    I recall a discussion with a researcher on CBC around 2000 or thenabouts in which he said that those with perfect pitch (the former) seemed to have more difficulty with chords than those with great, good, almost, or boo pitch.

    Great, Good, Almost

    And I think ‘Tis meant ‘ring rather than ‘red.

  224. 224
    Evader, the parasite-infested branch on the evolutionary tree

    She see the asians owning,
    she hatin…

    (also I suspect she has never heard “Art of Life” by X-Japan…)

  225. 225
    michellezapf-belanger

    I totally just shared this on Facebook but I’m friends with lots of TSO members. OH NOES she will get many angry emails now.

  226. 226
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    She has been so shamelessly public and blatant about her racism that I didn’t feel bad at all about emailing Laura’s Fashions and informing them that one of their employees at the Eaton Center store is saying very interesting things about her contempt for her employers and clientele. And providing them with the link. And selected quotes. And the information that when you Google “Laura’s Fashions Eaton Center” her blog post is the third result.

    Just maybe she will at least learn not to be a racist pus-smear loudly, in public, about her job, under her own full name.

  227. 227
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    I guess she’s never seen the passion and drive of one of those Japanese drum teams such as Kodo.

  228. 228
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    What, this twit is in Toronto!? The city with > 50% immigrants?

    And the TSO does blind auditions — sound only, at least for the first round. That’s how orchestras suddenly began hiring women–before that they were thought not to have the strength and passion and intellect to produce good music.

    I wonder what her art teachers think of that.

    It’s too bad but with over 2 million people some of them are bound to be a weird.

  229. 229
    craigore

    I remember one time being at a dinner with a relatively large group of koreans and japanese who had assembled together at a restaurant in Seattle. English was the only common form of communication between them, and they were in a bicker over how to discern japanese and korean features. I was drawn into the fray by one of them wishing to know if I could honestly tell them apart, and I recall saying, ‘isn’t that like if I asked you if you could tell the difference between Englishmen, Germans, and Frenchman just by looking at them?’

  230. 230
    julietdefarge

    Lack of force, drive, and drama?
    Here ya go:

  231. 231
    Nick Gotts

    I recall saying, ‘isn’t that like if I asked you if you could tell the difference between Englishmen, Germans, and Frenchman just by looking at them?’ – craigore

    But you (and even they) quite possibly could do a lot better than chance, even based purely on physiognomy (i.e ignoring the beret and striped jersey, pin-striped suit and rolled umbrella, etc.). I think speaking particular languages, particularly in childhood, may mould facial features differently, as different languages will use various muscle groups in different ways.

  232. 232
    Nick Gotts

    “Mongolids”. “Mongoloids” were the people with trisomy XXI. – David Marjonovic

    Yes indeed – but originally, the term derives from 19th and early 20th century pseudo-scientific racism, which divided humanity into “Caucasoids”, “Negroids” and “Mongoloids” (one or two more groups were sometimes added e.g. “Australoids”). The main three were supposedly arranged in a hierarchy, with guess who at the top, and “Mongoloids” in the middle. People with trisonomy 21 were supposedly “throwbacks” to a “Mongoloid stage” in human evolution, based on a few physical features (some white people with trisonomy 21 have an epicanthic fold andor slightly yellowish skin tone), and supposed psychological similarities, one of which was a lack of creativity combined with a facility for learning by imitation. The latter supposed attribute was used to account for the technical and artistic achievements of East Asian cultures, which were too obvious to deny entirely – they borrowed everything, you see.

    It always creeps me out slightly that “Caucasian” is still sometimes used as a pseudo-technical term for “white”. The idea was that natives of the Caucasus had the prototypical “Caucasoid” skull shape.

  233. 233
    Nick Gotts

    Sorry, for “trisonomy” read “trisomy”. I don’t know why I make that error.

  234. 234
    Thomas Sea

    I know the Vienna Philharmonic has been brought up a couple of times already, but the organisation just continues to be bigoted.

    http://www.osborne-conant.org/ten-years.htm

    http://www.osborne-conant.org/vpo2011.htm

    These guys are much more influential in the realm of classical music, and have much more power than one blogger.

    (her opinions are still grade-A bullcrap, I just can’t muster the energy to read all of the links)

  235. 235
    maximilianfleischman

    Ms Asrat is already an arts journalist, and is only continuing to ply her trade as best she knows how:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/12/how_canadas_little_mosque_on_t.html

    (I’ve not read all comments, so apologies if this is a repeat).

  236. 236
    chimera

    @ Moggie #73

    So listening in on private conversations is how she spends her time, eh? Imagine my surprise when I found this little nugget of hers:

    http://turnabout.ath.cx:8000/aggregator/categories/6?page=5

    The very first paragraph reads:

    It is an irritating aspect of walking down relatively crowded streets that I am privy to the conversations of people behind me. This is doubly irritating because I realize that the people, usually a couple, are really close behind me during their interaction. And not only that, they speak unnecessarily loud. If they are close to each other, they can surely keep their voices down, notwithstanding traffic and other ambient noises. I’m not sure why this is. Do they want me to hear their conversation? Do they forget the normal etiquette of keeping private conversations private? Are they carried away with their witty repartee?

    She then goes on to talk about how she listens to them anyway to guess whether or not they’re young, or gay, and why the confidence espoused by the feminist movement hasn’t created batches of women with lower-pitched “mature” voices.

    Um, no, the feminist movement did NOT actually have any effect on the physical structure of people’s larynges. She is definitely touched by the cray-cray.

  237. 237
    craigore

    @KG
    You could perhaps deceive yourself into thinking you can. I couldn’t tell apart Germans, Frenchmen, or Englishmen. Quite frankly I’m all three – deeply rooted in Europe, my ancestors having only arrived in the US by the 19th Century for the most part. I’m also Danish and Swedish in ancestral origin. In the case of China, Japan, and Korea, they have long had connection and tremendous opportunities for transference – in fact fiat exchange of large groups of people in many cases. The lines are much more blurred than these people may be thinking, and what people tend to be really pointing out are cultural features (haircuts, dress, mannerisms) and not really making the link (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) by any real physical difference.

    I brought up the character of Riki Dozan, a celebrated Sumo and pro wrestler in Japan during the years of US occupation (for more read ‘Tokyo Underworld; Fast Times and Hard Life of an American Gangster in Japan’ by Robert Whiting). A hero in a sport utterly reserved for Japanese nationals, Riki was in fact from North Korea – a truly painful secret for him that has since become well known. He said to his friend and associate Niccolo Zupetti, ‘I tell you this because you are an American and you don’t care.’

  238. 238
    Emrysmyrddin

    Aww, she’s noticed us. How is it that time and time again ‘Meyers’ comes up as such a Red Flag of Crazy?

  239. 239
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    It does seem to be a common thing, this inability to spell.

    And more baseless speculation that the cultural disinclination towards brass is based on a physical inability. Uh, no.

  240. 240
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Oh! pitbone62, Quodlibet and Brownian get special mention.

    a Red Flag of Crazy?

    But, you know, she doesn’t give any indication of being crazy — that’s an inaccurate and misleading conclusion about just what’s wrong with her.

  241. 241
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Heh. She is both threatening to sue people for racism and proud of refusing to be a good multi-culti Canadian.

  242. 242
    cynthiayuen

    Oh man. She’s found validation in all of our objections:

    http://cameraluc.blogspot.com/2012/01/my-initial-musical-impressions-were-not.html

    When I first read her “Asians playing Western music” article, I couldn’t help but read/skim every single blog post since the beginning – it was like being trapped in a vortex of hate. Anyway, she hates ALL immigrants, not just Asians, as well as homosexuals, heterosexuals who don’t dress “well”, Muslims, and she compared her 3 year old neighbor to Anders Breivik. Here are some choice articles:

    http://cameraluc.blogspot.com/2011/05/proof-positive.html
    http://cameraluc.blogspot.com/2010/06/rileys-story.html

    To be fair though, as a Chinese woman, I have been training since birth to hunt, stalk, and prey upon White men. That’s how I landed my husband, you know; anything to advance the Chinese agenda.

  243. 243
    Pteryxx

    Oh man. She’s found validation in all of our objections:

    I’m not surprised… seems like she finds validation in just about everything. Kids playing, people talking to each other at a volume, people talking to each other in a language, whether she listens to them, whether she doesn’t. It’s all self-confirming evidence of… something. Therefore: Agenda!

  244. 244
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    “Some guy”. Here’s a hint, nitwit, just “some guy” doesn’t get over 200 comments on a blog post. Pick up the phone, Dunning and Kruger want to talk to you.

  245. 245
    LicoriceAllsort

    250 comments (90% negative, and about 10% suable)

    Kidist Paulos Asrat is a bigotted git with a tin ear for music, dance, talent, fashion, and writing. She exudes bad taste. Her credibility as an art journalist should be carefully examined in the dim light of her publicly flaunted prejudice.

  246. 246
    Ingdigo Jump

    250 comments (90% negative, and about 10% suable)

    She drastically over estimates her support.

  247. 247
    jessie

    As far as I can tell, she works at a clothing store. She’s awfully arrogant given that she’s not even a professional musician.

    Really, I took piano lessons as a kid too (even gave a few public performances!) and would never dream of presenting myself as some sort of music expert.

    I hope her employer and/or co-workers decide to google her someday and see some of the horrid, racist bullshit she’s written about them.

    I must say though: it’s not everyday you run into a non-white white supremacist. I’ve never met anyone with such a weird, almost obsessive hatred of Chinese people either.

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